I have put several social media posts and email campaigns on hold for the rest of this week for myself and for my clients.
It just doesn’t seem appropriate or important to post them right now with the mass school shooting in Texas this week and the supermarket shooting last week in Upstate New York. I felt this way when Covid was first surging, when the war in the Ukraine broke out and when the Capital was stormed.
Pressing pause on your marketing is okay. Letting others know you aren’t okay is okay. Being tone deaf is not.
We need to pivot and adapt, and put people first like we did during Covid. Some of the news we have to share about ourselves and our companies can wait.
Be more sensitive, helpful and empathetic and that’s guidance I would carry into the next few weeks as well as:
- Do business as if the world is watching. Assume millions of people around the world will view your content no matter the actual size of your company. Anything can go viral. Don’t be the bad example.
- Lead with empathy. Remember that everyone has their own struggles, challenges and joys. They have families, coworkers and employees who may be affected. See them first as people, then as customers/clients. Empathize first, then be helpful.
- Follow the 80/20 rule of marketing. 80 percent of your content should be helpful, informative and educational. 20 percent should be inform your audience about your brand, what you stand for, why you exist, how you can help them and what you do. Pivot your messaging and pause some of the posts to align with the news.
- Use your social channels for good. Share helpful resources and inspiring stories. Tell your followers you are dedicated to what’s going on in the world.
- Don’t set and forget your marketing. The problem with tools that let you schedule blog posts, social media posts and email marketing in advance is when tragedy strikes, the content that was created during a different time is at risk of being inappropriate. Make sure posts aren’t going out that are unnecessary or tone deaf in light of what’s happening.
There’s no absolute rule with any of this – do what feels right to you but if you can hold off posting something and the post seems self-congratulatory, hold off on it. When in doubt ask someone. I am happy to help.
And remember, it’s okay to not be okay with what’s going on.
Here are 10 productive things to do instead on LinkedIn that are just as useful to your content creation, and relationship and brand building efforts.
- Use the Notifications section to update your contact database with your contacts’ work anniversary and new job info. Make sure to congratulate your connections on these milestones to proactively start conversations.
- Comment on others’ posts with insights of your own or compliments to the author. This is a great way to build your personal brand and relationships.
- Get a head start creating content in advance. Try coming up with posts about people you admire in your industry. (When you post it later, tag them in the post so they get an alert.)
- Research and then join LinkedIn groups. The right groups can help you spread awareness about your value-added content and make new strategic connections (just don’t post anything salesy or self-congratulatory).
- By clicking on the new bell 🔔 next to people’s names on their LinkedIn profile you will receive notifications whenever they share a new post. Spend 30 minutes following some of your favorite content creators as well as your clients/prospects.
- Create evergreen content. These are timeless posts that you can reuse over and over. Go through past content and your LinkedIn data archive as well as old blog posts and articles for ideas. These posts are gifts that keep giving and can help boost your SEO.
- Follow LinkedIn hashtags in your niche or are within your content pillars. Look at the popular content created under them for inspiration for your own posts and to build relationships with others on LinkedIn. Research the right hashtags for your own posts (based on your content pillars) and keep a running list of them for future use.
- Develop your content calendar for the next month – look at industry trends, client pain points, current news, events and upcoming holidays for ideas.
- Recycle your greatest hits. Many people post content once – a missed opportunity for maximizing it. Review your analytics to see which posts did the best (and worst) and use that as a starting point. Remember no one will remember what you posted a few weeks or months ago – the LinkedIn algorithm and user habits ensure that.
- And finally it’s okay to skip posting if you’re not feeling inspired or comfortable right now. It’s better to post great content a couple times a week than mediocre content every day. LinkedIn will still be there.
What else would you add to the list? Stay safe everyone. I’m praying for Uvalde.
Stefanie Marrone advises law firms of all sizes, professional service firms, B2B companies, recruiters and individuals on the full range of marketing and business development consulting services designed to enhance revenue, retain current clients and achieve greater brand recognition. She also serves as outsourced chief marketing officer/marketing department for small and mid-size law firms.
Over her 20-year legal marketing career, she has worked at and with a broad range of big law, mid-size and small firms, which has given her a valuable perspective of the legal industry. Connect on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, sign up for her email list and follow her latest writing on JD Supra.